Friday, April 29, 2011

TILT #10 (Things I Love and Treasure)

For me, so much of the happiness I find in life is found in the simple and small things. One of the things I like to do from time to time is make a list of the things that have recently brought me joy and made me smile.

* Soft, cuddly sweaters (like the one I recently got at a clothing swap!)
* Laying in bed, putzing around on my laptop computer.
* Caramel Praline Crunch ice cream by Blue Bunny. It is the perfect mix between salty and sweet!
* People and dogs named "Bruce."
* This really cute ferret I met at the pet store. She was so sweet and I named her Molly.
* Starburst Jelly Beans
* Free underwear coupons from Victoria Secret
* Sitting outside on my deck
* 89.3 The Current radio station
* Funny and unique pet names for people (Please beware that this video contains a lot o'swearing and vulgar language so if you are easily offended, you may not want to watch. However, it is completely hilarious!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Life's Ironic Irony

For two days in a row I had the most frustrating patient ever at work. Working in a psych ward as a nurse, I experience many challenging patients on a regular basis. However, this patient had a special way of pushing all my buttons and getting under my skin. Both days this dude was UP MY ASS with constant demands and talking down to me like I was a complete moron. This guy brought a whole new meaning to the word "intense." He was like a fully automatic M-16 that relentlessly peppered me with insult and demands. I tried for 8 hours each day to deal with his behavior in a calm, professional and therapeutic way. By the end of the second day, I had just had it. I was simply worn down and raw from his constant criticism and defiance. I could feel a not so subtle wave of sheer rage wash over me and I was within less than a millimeter from completely freaking out and letting this guy have it.

Me: "It is now quiet time. Please go to your room until it is over in an hour."

Patient: "I don't have to do anything! It is my right to sit here if I want to. What kind of nurse are you? Have you ever heard the Patient Bill of Rights? You can't tell me what to do!"

Me: "You know what? You have been nothing but condescending and rude to me all day. I am tired of being talked to that way. I don't understand why you can't simply follow the unit rules like everyone else is expected to."

Patient: "Oh, I'M condescending? I DEMAND a copy of the Patient Bill of Rights and suggest you familiarize yourself with it!"

Me: "What the fuck is your problem, Asshole?! What makes you think you are so damn special that you don't have to follow the rules like everyone else? Who died and made you Shit King of the World? I am sick of your never ending stream of verbal abuse! Now, get the fuck out of my face you narcissistic ass jacket!"

OK, so I didn't really say that last part but it is what I would have ended up saying if I didn't walk away at the very moment I did. The next day I arrived at work and did what I have not once done in the 3 years I've worked there: I requested to not have that patient again. I just could not face another day working with him. Everyone understood and thankfully, I didn't have to work with him that shift. However, I dreaded walking onto the unit for fear of being verbally assaulted again.

To my cautious surprise, the first thing he said to me was "Happy Easter, Stefany." AND it was in a nice, calm, dare I say, pleasant tone. "Happy Easter?" I replied as I flinched, ready to duck under the desk if necessary. He simply walked away and I just kinda stood there, not sure what to think. I went about my business and later on I went to sit in the lounge and hang out with the patients. He spotted me and immediately sat down in the chair next to me. He then stuck up a casual conversation with me, like the past two days never happened.

Patient: "Blah, blah blah, small talk."

Me: "Mmmhmm, yep. Small talk response"

Patient: "So, I was on the phone with my mom last night and I asked her what exactly 'condescending' means and she said 'you.' I love my mom because she always gives it to me straight. I was pretty pissed at you yesterday but I realized I can be a jerk sometimes when I am manic."

Me: "Yah? Well, I can understand that. I've experienced it with patients before."

Patient: "I don't know how you deal with that kind of thing. I'd be flipping out at people all the time."

He then changed the subject to talking about a past girlfriend and through that conversation, he gave me some pretty sound relationship insights. He recommended a book called Five Love Languages which is about how people generally have five ways they express and feel loved in relationships. I looked it up on my break and found it very interesting. Its now on my list of books to read. My husband and I talked about it when I got home and we found out some very interesting things about each other that has made our relationship better!

Talk about coming full circle. The very same patient who had me close to a full on rage spiral helped my marriage become stronger. I am still reeling from the strange irony of it all. I look back the experience and feel quite good about what I learned from it. A person is much more than they may seem to be. Even a complete stranger with the ability to make me want to rip my own hair out, one piece at a time, also had the ability to enrich my life in a very unexpected way. Life is wonderfully serendipitous that way and I freaking love it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

TILT #9 (Things I Love and Treasure)

For me, so much of the happiness I find in life is found in the simple and small things. One of the things I like to do from time to time is make a list of the things that have recently brought me joy and made me smile.

* Nice fitting bras
* Wireless Internet
* Getting a new haircut that I really like
* Grapes
* Going to the mall on a week day and no one is there!
* When my job feels rewarding
* Extreme couponing
* Thrift stores
* Driving on road that are not covered with snow and ice
* Ebay (I love this a little too much)